Ensuring your roof is in good condition is important. A leaking roof can do extensive water damage, and having to completely replace your roof can be quite costly. While roof replacement is something you’ll have to do eventually, the time will come much sooner if you don’t have your roof inspected and don’t take steps to make sure it remains in good condition. This article will tell you all the things you should look for and also why professional roof inspections are so important.
Have a Professional Roof Inspection Performed Every Year
No matter what type of roof your home has and what type of roofing materials it uses, you should have a roofing contractor perform a full inspection every year. Inspecting a roof is essential for ensuring it remains structurally sound. It also can help prevent leaks. Another reason why annual inspections are so important is to ensure that the manufacturer’s warranty on your roofing materials remains valid.
Most asphalt shingles and clay roof tiles come with a warranty that will cover a portion of the costs if the roofing materials are damaged and need to be replaced. Roofing warranties generally only cover the replacement materials and not any labor charges. The warranty will also be prorated, which means the portion of the total cost of the replacement materials the warranty will cover is based on how many years remain in the warranty period. Consequently, you’ll always have to pay some of the replacement costs out of pocket, but the warranty will save you money. However, almost all warranties stipulate that a licensed roofing contractor must inspect the roof yearly. You’ll need to be able to show proof that you’ve had your roof inspected annually in order to file a warranty claim, however. If you fail to have this annual inspection performed, your claim will almost certainly be denied, so you’ll have to pay all of the costs yourself.
When inspecting your roof, the roofers won’t just check the tiles or shingles for damage. They’ll go inside the attic to make sure there are no leaks. They will also check the condition of the roof trusses and wooden roof sheets. They’ll check the condition of the flashing, too, to make sure all the exhaust and vent pipes are properly sealed so water can’t seep in around them.
Make Sure Your Roof Is Free of Moss and Algae
The warm, humid Florida climate often leads to moss and algae growing on roofs. A moss-covered roof can look charming, but all of the moss will eventually lead to major damage if you don’t keep up with having your roof cleaned. This is because the moss will always retain lots of moisture, which will make your roof materials degrade more quickly. Moss can also lift the shingles or tiles so that water gets underneath them, eventually causing the roof to leak. Algae can damage your roof as well and will lead to discoloration and streaking. These issues are further reasons to have a roofing contractor clean your roof at least once a year if it is prone to moss and algae.
Watch Out for Storm Damage
Hurricanes, strong winds, hail, and severe thunderstorms are the biggest causes of roof damage in our area. It’s important to schedule an inspection after a major storm or if you suspect your roof has any storm damage. Depending on how much slope your roof has, you can usually perform a quick visual inspection from the ground. When doing this, you’ll want to look for any shingles or tiles that are missing or broken and also make sure there aren’t any tree branches or limbs on the roof. Storm damage can quickly lead to your roof leaking. It can also greatly reduce the life of your roofing materials, so it’s something you always need to watch out for.
Make Sure Gutters and Downspouts Are Clean and Draining Properly
The gutters on a roof obviously catch all the water that comes off it, and they’re installed with a slight slope so the water drains into downspouts that carry it away from the home’s foundation. However, gutters and downspouts tend to get clogged with leaves, sticks, and debris. This can lead to water overflowing out of the gutters and possibly damaging your siding. Even worse, the water will pool next to the foundation, which can lead to major structural damage or cause the basement or crawl space to flood.
You should always have your gutters and downspouts cleaned every fall and also any time you notice they aren’t draining correctly. Make sure none of the gutters are bent and that wind hasn’t knocked any of the downspouts loose.
Look for Damage to Your Soffits and Fascia
Most homes have either a gable roof or a hip roof with overhanging eaves. Gable roofs have two slopes and often have eaves just on two sides of the building, but some also have eaves on the two gable ends. On a hip roof, all sides are sloped, and there are often eaves around the entire building. The two parts that make up the eaves on a roof are called the soffit and fascia. The fascia boards are located on the face of the eave, and this is what the gutters attach to. The fascia boards also attach to the ends of the roof trusses and provide support to the edge of the roof and the bottom row of shingles or tiles. The soffit panels are located on the underside of the eaves and seal between the edge of the roof and the wall.
A roofing company will inspect the soffit panels and the fascia boards when inspecting the rest of the roof. Nonetheless, you should also monitor the condition of your soffit and fascia so you can spot any issues or signs of damage. The fascia boards can start to rot or crack over time, which could potentially cause the gutters to come loose or fall off. The gutters can also begin to sag so that they have low spots, and this can prevent them from draining since they no longer have the necessary slope.
It is even more important that your soffit panels aren’t damaged and that none of the panels are missing. The soffits work to keep moisture from getting inside the roof and attic, which is important for preventing mold growth and keeping the trusses and wooden roof sheets from rotting or warping. The soffits also keep insects, birds, and pests from getting inside the attic. Many homes have soffit vents that allow air to flow into the attic and ensure it is well ventilated. If the soffit panels are damaged or missing, you risk your roof suffering major harm. Pests might also start nesting in the attic.
Keep Trees Trimmed Away From Your Roof
If you have any big trees on your property, you should always check to make sure there are no large branches threatening your roof. All limbs and branches should be trimmed back away from it. If any part of the tree is hanging over the roof, it could come crashing down during a severe storm and cause major damage or even lead to part of the roof collapsing.
Protek Roofing, Heating, Air & Solar is the most trustworthy roofing contractor in the Tampa area, and we’re ready to help. We work on most types of roofing materials, including asphalt shingles, roof tiles, and metal roofing, and our team can handle all your roof inspection, repair, and replacement needs. We also offer heating, cooling, and indoor air quality installation, repair, and maintenance services. We install solar panels as well. Give us a call today to schedule a roof inspection anywhere in the Tampa area.